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Organ Donation Gives A New Hope

Ten years ago, Dale Shippam got a new heart. It’s taken him around the world, and, in the New Year, on a part of an Olympic journey across Canada.

The 2010 Olympic slogan is “With Glowing Hearts.” For Dale Shippam, the heart that will be glowing as he holds the Olympic torch high, is the donated one that saved his life.

In 1999, Shippam’s own heart was ravaged by a virus. But an organ donation through the Trillium Gift of Life Network gave the 58-year-old firefighter a fresh start and propelled him on expeditions around the world, including mountain journeys through Antarctica, Spain and British Columbia.

“I’ve been in some of the toughest winter terrain on the planet,” he says. “I’ve had my share of adrenalin rushes. But carrying the Olympic flame in a Canadian winter? That will be a blast.” Shippam is one of 12,000 Canadians who are taking part in the Olympic Torch’s 45,000-kilometre journey across Canada. He will carry the Olympic Torch through Thunder Bay, Ontario on January 3.

“It’s perfect that Dale’s new heart will ring in the New Year this way,” says Frank Markel, President and CEO of Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN). “He’s seized his fresh start with both hands and celebrated life with gusto. When he passes on that torch, I hope he passes on some of his joy of living and encourages others to consider organ and tissue donation. Someone passed him the chance to live again and look at what he has achieved.”

Today, approximately 1,700 people in Ontario are waiting for a life-saving transplant. One organ and tissue donor can save up to eight lives and enhance as many as 75 others.

Adds TGLN’s Sandra Petzel, Organ and Tissue Donation Coordinator in Thunder Bay: “New Year’s resolutions often speak to people wanting to do good and give back. Well, organ and tissue donation is giving back, big time, and a great resolution to carry forward. Anyone can consent. Register your consent, talk to your family. Your organs will be treated with dignity and respect – so will your choice.”

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1 comment to Organ Donation Gives A New Hope

  • نشاط جيد للموفع, وموضوعات هادفه ومفيده.مع الشكر والتفدير

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